Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, February 18, 2018 ACHD's Road Wizard

Bumpy pavement patch feared to become hazardous on Amity Road near the new YMCA facility; reader rates Boise roads better than those in Dallas-Fort Worth and gets project updates for Cloverdale and Maple Grove roads; merging from the ramp from Federal Way to Broadway Avenue to access Interstate 84 continues to concern readers.

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: The recent construction on Amity Road near the new YMCA facility is very rough and bumpy. In no time this will be a hazard to drivers.


Road Wizard:

ACHD assigns inspectors to commercial projects -- they want to be sure that any work that impacts roads goes smoothly.

Quick to react to anything otherwise, the inspector checked the asphalt patch on Amity east of Eagle Road. It was put there after an irrigation pipe was installed under the road as part of the YMCA construction. There is a slight depression in the pavement.

It may become a problem eventually as vehicles travel over the dip and compact it further. The inspector will keep an eye on it, since the patch may need to be replaced.

Dear Road Wizard: I was driving around the Dallas-Fort Worth area and I was in shock at how bad their roads were. Every one was under construction, diverted with no lane lines, and ramps to nowhere. I was trying to think of a road in Boise that was even close to that bad and I couldn't! Our roads are nice. I'm sure you have plans to widen some streets since we are a growing city. For example, widening Victory Road to two lanes on each side with a center turn lane. And doing the same to Five Mile and Cloverdale roads.


Road Wizard:

The number of widening projects slated for Ada County may leave you wide-eyed. Cloverdale between Fairview Avenue and Ustick Road is being widened right now, and the widening will continue to Chinden Boulevard next year. After that, Cloverdale will be a five-lane corridor with bike lanes all the way from Franklin Road to Chinden.

Maple Grove Road between Overland and Victory is scheduled for widening in about three years. Five Mile is in the middle of these parallel routes, but doesn't have a scheduling spot yet since it would require a very expensive widening of the two-lane bridge over Interstate 84. But the work on the other roads should relieve traffic congestion on Five Mile.

As for Victory, an expansion is planned, but not for the immediate future

 Dear Road Wizard: I'm always concerned about entering Broadway Avenue driving south from Federal Way. There is no yield sign on this approach lane and drivers enter the right-hand lane of Broadway, which usually contains traffic that also wants to turn onto the westbound interstate. Who has the right of way? Is there a solution for this problem? 


Road Wizard:

This is a frequent question. The lane that takes Federal Way drivers to southbound Broadway to Interstate 84 should be treated like a freeway on-ramp. Of course it's not on the freeway, so there can be confusion.

Drivers coming from Federal Way are entering Broadway's lane, so Federal Way folks must yield and merge into traffic that's already on Broadway. Instead of yield signs, there are merge signs on both roads. And just like on the freeway, there should be some give and take with merging.

ACHD approached the Idaho Transportation Department prior to the reconstruction of the Broadway Interchange about adding a lane on Broadway for Federal Way drivers. The lane would extend to the freeway and ease the merging issue. But the lane was too challenging to construct because it would require a rebuild of the New York Canal bridge.

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